U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 24, 1998
Release # 98-072
Announce Recall Program to Replace Vent Pipes on Home Heating Systems
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a landmark action,
virtually the entire furnace and boiler industry together with the manufacturers
of high-temperature plastic vent (HTPV) pipes have joined with the U.S. Consumer
Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to announce a recall program. This program
will replace, free of charge, an estimated 250,000 HTPV pipe systems attached
to gas or propane furnaces or boilers in consumers' homes. The HTPV pipes could
crack or separate at the joints and leak carbon monoxide (CO), presenting a
deadly threat to consumers.
CO is a colorless, odorless gas produced
by incomplete burning of carbon-based fuel, including natural gas and propane.
The initial symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to the flu, and may include
dizziness, fatigue, headache, nausea and irregular breathing. High-level exposure
to CO can cause death.
To determine whether they have HTPV pipe
systems that are subject to this program, consumers should first check the vent
pipes attached to their natural gas or propane furnaces or boilers. Vent pipes
subject to this recall program can be identified as follows: the vent pipes
are plastic; the vent pipes are colored gray or black; and the vent pipes have
the names "Plexvent ," "Plexvent II" or "Ultravent
" stamped on the vent pipe or printed on stickers placed on pieces used
to connect the vent pipes together. Consumers should now check the location
of these vent pipes. For furnaces, only HTPV systems that have vent pipes that
go through the sidewalls of structures (horizontal systems) are subject to this
program. For boilers, all HTPV systems are subject to this program. Other plastic
vent pipes, such as white PVC or CPVC, are not involved in this program.
After checking the vent pipes, consumers
should call the special toll-free number (800) 758-3688, available between 7
a.m. and 11 p.m. EST seven days a week, to verify that their HTPV pipe systems
are subject to this recall program. Consumers with eligible systems will receive
new, professionally installed venting systems free of charge. Additionally,
consumers who already have replaced their HTPV pipe systems may be eligible
for reimbursement for some or all of the replacement costs.
The program came about as a result of mediation among 27 participants manufacturers
of HTPV pipes and manufacturers of natural gas or propane-fired boilers and
mid-efficiency furnaces. This is the first time that CPSC has used a mediator
to bring together all segments of an industry to implement a program for the
benefit of consumers.
All consumers should have their fuel-burning
appliances inspected each year to check for cracks or separations in the vents
that could allow CO to leak into the home. In addition, CPSC recommends that
every home should have at least one CO detector that meets the requirements
of the most recent Underwriters Laboratories 2034 standard or International
Approval Services 6-96 standard.
The following lists the manufacturers participating in this program.
Armstrong Air Conditioning Inc.
Bard Manufacturing Co.
Crown Boiler Co.
The Ducane Co. Inc.
Dunkirk Radiator Corp.
Evcon Industries Inc.
Hart & Cooley Inc.
Heat Controller Inc.
International Comfort Prod. Corp.(USA)
Lennox Industries Inc.
Peerless Heater Co.
Rheem Manufacturing Co.
Thermo Products Inc.
The Trane Co.
Utica Boilers Inc.
York International Corp.
The U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission protects the public from the unreasonable risk of injury or
death from 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury and for information
on CPSC's fax-on-demand service, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's
teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270. To order a press release through fax-on-demand,
call (301) 504-0051 from the handset of your fax machine and enter the release
number. Consumers can obtain this release and recall information via Internet
gopher services at cpsc.gov or report product hazards to firstname.lastname@example.org.